"A Leg Up"
They're fighting the Abomination --
or rather, Hulk is kicking his ass
all over Harlem (again) -- when
a bus full of people comes flying
at Iron Man and he catches it.
Seconds later, it is followed by a car,
and Iron Man can either drop the bus
or take the hit himself, and that's
not really a decision, is it?
So then Tony has a broken suit
and a broken leg and Hulk
really loses his shit.
The fight is over in moments.
Even Agent Coulson has a hard time
talking Hulk into backing off so that
SHIELD agents can come scrape
the Abomination out of the crater.
Iron Man manages to put
the bus down on a safe piece
of pavement before he collapses.
Bruce is trying to drag himself
in Iron Man's general direction.
"Sheesh, Bruce, take a nap already,"
Captain America scolds gently. "I got this."
He does, of course, because he has
first aid training as well as combat training,
and JARVIS helpfully relays the details
while Tony tries not to whimper too loudly.
So they take Tony to SHIELD where
the medics do their best to repair
the damage, but Tony refuses a cast.
The Avengers find out why when
a package arrives from the tower.
That's how Tony comes home
with a complicated piece of armor
wrapped around his injured leg, JARVIS
basically holding him together by hand.
It's not so bad, because the tower
is well designed -- there is a ramp
around the front stairs and grab bars
in the bathrooms -- since heroism
is a hazardous career choice.
As soon as Bruce wakes up
from his post-Hulk nap, he
ambles into the kitchen and
starts making smoothies that
smell of fresh apple pie or
peaches and raspberries.
Tony grumbles, tastes the first one,
raises his eyebrows, and finishes it
without any further complaint.
The rest of the teamfamily
comes to cuddle around him.
Now and then someone
gets up to fetch things for him.
"This sucks amazingly less
than the last time I broke
a bone," Tony admits.
"People need people,"
Bucky says. "It's how
we get by when times
are hard, you know."
Tony doesn't know.
It goes against everything
he learned growing up.
Maybe that's a good thing.
So Tony spends Game Night
with a leg up, which kinda sucks.
He can't run around the room
like he usually does on Game Night.
Little!Bruce shows a lot more worry
than big!Bruce lets anyone see.
Tony winds up stretched out
on the couch, eating sardines
right out of the can with his fingers.
Steve brings him Star, and the white kitten
curls up on Tony's leg, purring loudly.
"I know it's an old wives' tale about
cats healing broken bones, but I
figure it can't hurt," Steve says.
"Actually, studies show that
a purring cat can speed healing,"
Bruce says. "I read it in an article."
"No arguments here," Tony says,
petting the kitten to make her purr more.
"I have not yet researched this area,"
JARVIS says. "Shall I compile material?"
"Yes, please," says Uncle Phil.
"Hey, I bet that I could make
a mechanical cat," Tony says,
and tries to wallow off the couch.
Uncle Phil pins him down with a finger.
"Lie still," he says. "Rest for today.
You can work on that tomorrow."
He takes away the empty tin of
sardines before Tony can spill oil on
the carpet, replacing it with a plate
of Super Seedy Granola Bars.
Then Uncle Phil turns on
How to Train Your Dragon,
and all the littles fall silent.
It's not as boisterous as
their usual Game Night,
but that's okay too.
* * *
Know the first aid for a broken leg.
Foods for bone recovery include smoothies made with dairy, and fish such as sardines. Super Seedy Granola Bars include many relevant ingredients such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds; the Avengers have also added pumpkin seeds. Conveniently, these foods go well with ageplay.
How to Train Your Dragon is a film about a Viking boy and his pet dragon, in which disability plays an important role.
"Fluffy" is a previous installment of Love Is For Children introducing a litter of orphaned kittens. The Avengers later retrieved one from foster care to share.
Various studies have explored the healing power of cats purring.